Understanding Sex Addiction

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What Is Sex Addiction?

If you’re a sex addict, you’re dealing with an escalating, obsessive preoccupation with sexual fantasy and behaviors. As a result, you’ve damaged your romantic relationships, career, education, friendships, finances, and other life priorities. Most likely, you use the intensity of sexual fantasy and behaviors to escape (to avoid feeling) emotional discomfort – stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, shame, boredom, etc.

Our Seeking Integrity: Los Angeles rehab offers specialized treatment for men who struggle with sex addiction. Our basic program lasts two weeks, extendable to three or four weeks depending on client needs.

  • Are you obsessively preoccupied with sex?
  • Have you tried and failed to cut back or quit your involvement with porn, hookup apps, strip clubs, prostitution, affairs, or similar behaviors?
  • Are you experiencing negative consequences related to your out-of-control sex life?

If you think you or a loved one may be struggling with sex addiction, we suggest you take this anonymous 25-question sex and porn addiction screening test.

What Sex Addiction Looks Like

Sex addicts spend hours, sometimes even days, in an emotionally elevated state of sexual fantasy and pursuit. This state is sometimes referred to as the bubble or the trance. It is this, rather than actually engaging in sex, that provides the escapist ‘high’ of sex addiction. In fact, being sexual to the point of orgasm actually ends the high, pushing the addict back into the stress, anxiety, and other forms of emotional discomfort that triggered the addiction in the first place.

Sex addicts typically feel a tremendous amount of shame about their sex life. As such, they keep most of their sexual behaviors secret, even from the people who matter most. They keep their sexual activity compartmentalized in this way to hide it and protect it, and to stop themselves from drowning in shame. This is exhausting and depressing, and it leads to social and emotional isolation, diminished self-esteem, and numerous other psychological and emotional issues.

Sex Addiction is Diagnosable and Treatable

Sex addiction is formally defined by the World Health Organization in the International Classification of Diseases (the ICD-11) as Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder. Individuals with this issue require expert evaluation and treatment, such as that provided by Seeking Integrity. To learn more, participate in our free online webinars and discussion groups, register for one of our online sex addiction workgroups, or contact us to ask about residential treatment.